15 APRIL 1922, Page 22


THE translator, as his excuse for this new version of the Inferno, tells us that it is inlength of line and in rhythmic cadence in close resemblance to the Tema Rima. Only the rhyme has been left out for reasons of freedom, giving the translator more scope. Probably no one translation will ever satisfy, and it will be always best to read several in conjunction when we are trying to get close to the original. One merit of a version Moe Mr. Hooper's, which presents the original line for line, is that those who have a very slight knowledge of Italian can refer to the text without the misery of using a dictionary. Even a very small acquaintance with the language of the poet seems to give a flavour to a translation otherwise not obtainable. Mr. Hooper has given us some short and useful notes at the end of the book and at the beginning a table of contents of each canto, so that the text is unencumbered, but there is no index. The transla- tion is easy to read, and though the system of line for line causes some roughness, it also avoids that curse of translations. diffuseness.